A Relaxed Christmas Update

Early in December I decided to slow down and have A Relaxed Christmas. I decided not to stress myself out about buying presents. I decided my house didn’t need to be decorated all at once. I decided to say no to a few of the many activities on our calendar and yes to more meaningful time with my family.

So how are things going?

christmas tree light

Well … I’m not sure.

I haven’t been as stressed about shopping. I’ve shopped a little here and there and actually had a fun time doing it. I’m about halfway done and still have a few weeks. That’s not bad!

But I haven’t wrapped a single present. Not one. That’s not good …

I haven’t stressed over decorating my house. We cut down and decorated our Christmas tree last weekend, and it’s lovely! That’s good!

However, other than that and a few other small spots in the house, we haven’t decorated much. If doesn’t feel festive in the house at all. That’s not good …

We did cut back on a few activities, and we have really enjoyed the family outings we’ve chosen to do. That’s all good! No bad there!

Overall I’ve been much less stressed out over things things year, but I’ve also gotten less done. I haven’t sent any Christmas cards. We have no lights on our house. I haven’t hung stockings yet, and the very thought of all.those.presents that need to be wrapped… YIKES!

So I’m very mixed up about my idea of A Relaxed Christmas.

Is it good to scale back? Or is it just a little lazy? Or maybe I scaled back too far?

I know I still have time, and I know on the big day we’ll all be happy with what Santa brings, with a big meal, and with just being together, but I wonder if letting some of the hoopla go hasn’t resulted in less of the holiday cheer and festivity I normally feel.

What do you think? Is the hoopla part of the fun? Can you scale back and still enjoy yourself? Or do you enjoy the hoopla, too?


Deployed for the Holidays: You Don’t Have to Be Alone

In discussing this post with my husband last night and counting up time spent apart, we decided that we’ve been lucky. We’ve only spent four Christmases apart. ONLY four. On one hand, out of his nineteen years in the Navy over half of which have been on sea duty, that’s pretty good! But on the other hand, that’s four Christmases of missing him. Four Christmases of playing Santa alone. Four Christmases of sad moments with kiddos who just miss their Daddy. It’s hard, and it stinks, but spending holidays without your sailor is a fact of life for military spouses so we move forward and figure out how to do it without a tub of ice cream and a bottle of wine, right? (That’s more depressing than the alone part, isn’t it?) Here are a few ideas for making a lonely Christmas AMAZING!

Deployed for the Holidays

{ONE} Plan ahead. Is it possible to open presents earlier? Or perhaps to plan a Christmas in January or February? Last year, the kids and I celebrated on December 25th, but we also kept our tree and lights and stockings up until Josh came home. So in essence, we got TWO Christmases!

{TWO} One word … potluck. Now is a great time to call on your support network, and if they’re in the same boat (pun intended), they’ll thank you anyways. Surround yourself with friends who understand what you’re going through. Make it a party, and make it fun! Pull out ugly sweaters and Twister, and create your own Holiday Cocktail! It’s okay to miss him, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun!

{THREE} Go to the galley. I have several friends who swear by the Christmas meal at the Galley on base. They go every year! Gather a few friends and forgo the cooking and cleaning altogether. You might just start a NEW Christmas tradition.

{FOUR} Skip the dinner and do something good. Search out a soup kitchen or a local church serving meals for the homeless. Make and hand out Blessings Bags. Donate food and supplies to a local charity. Helping out people who really need you can help push aside bad feelings of missing him.

{FIVE} Visit family! I know this isn’t an option for everyone. For me to pack up my kids and fly home would cost more than my entire Christmas budget, but if you have the chance, fly away home! Or perhaps family would like to come see you! Hosting family will keep you busy and surrounded by love through a difficult holiday.

{SIX} Get. out. of. the. HOUSE! Who says you have to stay home? Pack up and take a mini-vacation! Take the kids to an indoor amusement park or rent a cottage at the beach (much cheaper in the wintertime in most places anyways)!

Christmas is a special time, and you deserve to spend it in a happy way! Missing your sailor at Christmas … well, it just sucks. So put away the ice cream and wine and do something great! How will you be spending Christmas this year? Do you have something amazing planned with or without your sailor?

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